Week 2: Reading at the Vehicle of Expression

So I'm inching across the ice...that's cracking under my feet.  A couple beside me has two kids crying in terror and they assure these kids that look...this lady here (me) is going.  I looked at them in amazement and did not point out in front of their terrified children that I was NOT in fact proceeding BECAUSE the ice was cracking under my feet!

However, cars were driving out and not falling through.  I went over to the car route.  I ended up begging someone to escort me across the ice--which was dangerously slick thanks to a recent rain.  I hung onto his arm for dear life while we took baby steps.  At some point, the ice once again cracked--as I was watching all the art shanties not falling through the ice.

I admit, I wondered how many people were going out on the ice only because everyone else was, and if we'd all end up not merely on ice...but under it.

I made it to the Vehicle of Expression just before Earl began his reading about his dog Rupert.  Turns out he was in the Coast Guard. "So having been in the Coast Guard," I said to him after his reading, "You can assure me we're not all insane and this ice is going to hold--all that cracking under my feet meant nothing, right?  Right?"

"You're all crazy," he said.  "I grew up in Florida!  My friends keep inviting me to go ice fishing and I won't do it."

So I guess Earl, like me, was willing to risk certain death to read to an admiring public.  Indeed--we are all crazy.  I retreated off the Lake of Death between my two readings and holed up at Caribou to work on my own writing and watch the Lake Reports to see if anyone goes through between now and my next reading at 2.  So far, I'm not hearing sirens.  I guess that's a good sign.

This morning I read a couple of poems--a larger than average triolet about my larger than average dog and one about how we choose whether to focus on the good or bad in life.  I also read the scenes from The Water is Wide in which Harclay and MacDougall realize Niall (or, in this case Shawn, who is at this point calling himself Brom the minstrel) is in Carlisle spying on them, and the following scene in which Shawn and Niall escape through the sewer--yes the actual historical sewer that has been uncovered!--that leads from the Grey Friars' house (or was it the Black Friars) outside the city walls.

Swearing is very, very sparse in my books, but it was one occasion where what else could or would Shawn possibly say other than..."Holy sh*t!"  I mean, sometimes, you just can't pass up the opportunity!

I've chosen some readings for this afternoon.  Depends how long people will sit, but the good news is--I have the power of the BUTTON!  The button that closes the bus door.  I have a captive audience and 4 books to read from!

Welcome to Minnesota in the winter!  Time to pack up my literary endeavors and head back out to my second certain death of the day.  I guess the first one didn't go so badly, considering!  I'll let you know if none of us die in this artistic venture of reading on thin ice!

  • February 12 and 19, I'll be reading on the Vehicle of Expression, part of the Art Shanty Project
  • February 25, 2017: I will co-host Food Freedom on AM 950 with Laura Hedlund and Karen Olson Johnson.  Guests: Michael Agnew, craft beer expert and Ross Fishman on Russian literature.  We'll taste Russian beer: listen to the whole program from last month.

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